The River's Renewal - Original Poetry

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(Edited)

carter-moorse-kMJmiGyz124-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Carter Moorse on Unsplash


The River's Renewal


The river rests like frost settling,
ingesting silt dredged
from hills’ peaks, to valley’s feet.
She naps, playing dead,
half asleep.


Slack water’s undercurrent
reveals jutting tidal flats,
the sand bar mottled like
a lizard’s back, or lines
of wisdom on her face.


The tide turns; she awakes,
casting off the warm
embrace of the sun,
racing to mingle waters
with foam-flecked waves.


Current shines in singing eddies,
a steady crescendo of brine
that feeds her thirst
from the estuaries’ flow,
as the breeze grows
the river breathes rebirth.

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This poem is a form of poetry called a persona poem. To learn more about the structure of this form of poetry please follow the link above. In most examples of this style of poem the poet tries to write from the perspective of a historical figure, or a contemporary personality such as a politician. In this poem, I attempt to personify the river in my home town as it reaches its final course in the Mersey estuary. It is not strictly a persona poem as it's written in the third person, but I wanted to experiment within the form to express the way I often view aspects of nature to have their own consciousnesses, especially while meditating. The first draft of this poem was written more than two years ago while in meditation near to the banks of the Mersey after a long bike ride and has been through many re-writes since. I was inspired to dig this out - and put it through a final draft - by a recent conversation with @paradigmprospect about the nature of consciousnesses. I personally think that there are many forms of consciousness, more than the human mind can envision and the world opens up when you can see the varying consciousness in the environment around you. That is partly what this poem is about; the infinite variations of perception when you see the life that beats at the heart of everything. Thanks for the thought provoking conversation that made me remember this poem @paradigmprospect.


All images used in this post are creative commons licence, source linked below image. If you have enjoyed reading this poem, you can check out similar work on my homepage @raj808. Thank you.

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22 comments
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@raj808 - beautiful poem, the kind I am drawn to read several times to get all the nuances.

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Thanks, glad you enjoyed the poem.

Yeah, sometimes a poem needs a few reads.

Lol, I have to be honest I often have to read a poem more than once to get a feel for it, especially classical poetry like some of Keats poems:

O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
Even into thine own soft-conched ear:
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken’d eyes?
‘Ode to Psyche’ by John Keats

I guess I'm a child of the modern age as I much prefer contemporary poetry, but some of that can be just as confusing 😆

One of my favorite poets, Simon Armatige really knows how to craft a poem that is simple, beautiful and crystalizes meaning. That's the ultimate goal of poetry to my mind. I'm not there yet, but I hold out hope ;-)

Of all the public places, dear
to make a scene, I’ve chosen here.

Of all the doorways in the world
to choose to sleep, I’ve chosen yours.
I’m on the street, under the stars.

For coppers I can dance or sing.
For silver-swallow swords, eat fire.
For gold-escape from locks and chains.

It’s not as if I’m holding out
for frankincense or myrrh, just change.

You give me tea. That’s big of you.
I’m on my knees. I beg of you.
Give
by Simon Armitage

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I like that Armitage - will look into him more. I like simplicity and punch iin poetry too - William Carlos Williams or Emerson comes to mind. And Frost for nature poetry. There's a contemporary Australian eco poet who writes great poetry about the tension between man and the landscape too you might enjoy - John Kinsella. Some of my favourites of his are The Dance Movement of Bees, Blue Heron, Old Hands/new Tricks - actually there's hundreds I love. quite Australian gothic too. A little less romantic than Keats, who kinda irks me a little with his overly romantic stuff. Give me a sharp edge anyday.

or maybe just the simplicity of the Orchardist (Kinsella)

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Wow, I love this! I can envision it easily and actually picture him floating among the trees.

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That is a beautiful and simply elegant poem 🙂 thanks for the share 👍

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I love the flow of this poem and the amazing imagery that you have created with each line xx

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Thanks @trucklife-family, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

Yes, like so much of my poetry the imagery is where I shine, I think. Sometimes I try to tone it down based on the subject or style but with this it feels appropriate to let the simile and metaphor flow, like the life of the river 🙂

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There's a real sense of oneness when you contemplate nature - it gains a persona because you BECOME nature itself - and when we do that, we become eco warriors, because how can we harm what is US?

I can't stand poetry written from perspective OF nature though, like "I am a river", so I much prefer the third person for this. It's interesting that she is 'she' - fluid, shifting, changeable, adaptable, restorative, birthing, quiet, yinside. River flows. xxx

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I can't stand poetry written from perspective OF nature though, like "I am a river", so I much prefer the third person for this.

Yes, I'm with you on that... it is so hard not to make it pure cheese lol

I am a river... and I flow
I am a tree, and I grow.

Lol, like a smelly Camembert... it stinks 😄

That's why I wanted to make it third person, and also to try and avoid imprinting some type of emotional life into the personification. That's not how I see consciousness in nature tbh, not in the overarching environment anyway.

But the river is definitely female to me, I couldn't tell you why. That's just how it came to me when I was sitting down by the river all those years ago. The last verse of this is where most of the edits/changes happened. Most of the rest was just taking care of grammar and changing a few words to give it a stronger internal rhyme structure. Twas fun doing a bit of late evening editing 😉

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What a beautiful poem. I like the idea of writing it from the river’s view.

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It's a unique perspective from the river's flow.

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the poem 🙂

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Panta rei, everything flows. This poetry takes me to Eraclitus, one of my favorite philosophers. I love the awakening from the third stanza onward. The personification is smooth and I think that your choice of adopting a third person suits perfectly with your vivid style. There are so many simplifications to which our human nature forces us when we want to describe what surrounds us. Often, the same language is so faulty to reach its purpose. Your poetry makes me reflect on consciousness as an indescribable stream. One that eludes every attempt of portrayal in the simplified form of one single static frame. Every theory is always a simplification.. take Hegel for example, why the process of thesis antithesis and syntesis has to be tri-partite? We really like the number 3 because it suits to our brain. Couldn't we speak of a dialectic process in 3.5 or 4 or pi different moments instead?

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Brother... You've sored way above my head with the philosophical analysis.

I completely live in that reality where consciousness is only an expression of lived reality. Why three philosophical arguments of any science of thought?

I guess three is the magic number... but it actually isn't.

We get trapped in the reflection of those who came before, forgetting that we're the architects of our reality.

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(Edited)

Broski, it's just a blurb from my dusty philosophic reminescences (20 years ago! WTF decades are passing like eating nuts). But I admit that your words are always so inspiring. Those are the three phases in the dialectic process where the final stage results in a reconciling of the first two (can be also found in Marxian class theory). Honestly, sociology and economy are way more useful disciplines for understanding reality around us. Fuck philosophy, look in what shit we are now.. how did philosophy helped humanity to avoid this decline of ethos? That discipline revealed to be just another way for elites to mark a differences with lower classes so fuckit.

I guess three is the magic number... but it actually isn't.

Yes it isnt, just another overstructure of our brain.
About being trapped in past reflections, I understand your point, the expression "standing on the shoulders of giants" comes to my mind. I personally try to use the teachings from the past (but not only) like bricks for building something new or, if we want to put it like this, to help creating my niche of freedom in the present. Take care my friend and congrats for your recents debates on the future of Steemit.. you're the voice for many here, keep it up!

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Lovely words Rowan and I love the dedication too after coming back and forth for two years. As a fellow creative, I fully understand going back and forth countless times on a creation but once you've hit that eureka moment, it feels so cathartic!

Great picture as well :)

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Fiction, music and poetry - you’re a triple threat! Lovely work!

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